Two Tips for Installing Hinges

Installing a door on its hinges can be one of the trickiest parts of building a cabinet. Here are two tips I've used in the past to make the job easier. 

Temporary Steel Woodscrews
I usually take a door on and off a few times before I get the right fit. In the process, I often strip or break the brass screws that come with the hinge.

To prevent this problem, I temporarily substitute steel screws while I'm positioning the hinge. Plus, I put only
one screw in each leaf while adjusting the fit. And when it's time to add the other screws, I run steel screws in
and out of the pilot holes first. This creates a ready-made hole for decorative brass screws.

Thin Shims
If a hinge mortise is cut too deep, there may not be enough of a gap between the door and the cabinet. A quick fix for this is to add a paper or thin cardboard shim below the hinge. 

A shim also comes in handy if the gap between the door and the cabinet tapers from top to bottom. Use the shim at the top or the bottom hinge only to correct the taper.

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